Edible Tribute: Cleora Butler

July 01, 2015
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Cleora Butler

Circa 1930s

“Cleora Butler was born in Texas in 1901, grew up in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and lived and worked in Tulsa from the age of 22 until her death in 1985, on the day the first copy of Cleora’s Kitchens came off the press. The daughter of professional cooks, she learned how to make frontier delicacies such as burnt-sugar ice cream and fried sweet corn, then went on to become a live-in cook for Tulsa’s oil barons in the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s. She prepared lavish cocktail and dinner parties, as well as nourishing everyday family meals. In the 1960s she opened Cleora’s Bakery and Catering with her husband. As a favourite caterers for society teas and street parties, banquets and barbecues, Cab Calloway’s band and the Tulsa Philharmonic Auxiliary, Cleora always made sure everybody got something good to eat.”

Courtesy of Council Oak Books
Cleora’s Kitchens is available at the Tulsa Garden Center


In each issue, Edible Tribute honors farms, farmers, food and beverage artisans, related businesses, foodstuffs and edible products that have helped shape our great state over the past century or so. We welcome your ideas in properly recognizing these heroes. If you have suggestions for an Edible Tribute honoree or have vintage photographs or information that we might share, please email info@EdibleTulsa.com.

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